Skip to content

Mindfulness Strategies to Provide Self-Care

alpha-2 copy 2

As we move through this first month or two of school, Т I wanted to revisit the conversation of your own self-care as teachers, and specifically explore how you are incorporating mindfulness practice in your own life.

As noted in previous posts and our own conversation as a community, teaching mindfulness begins with your own practice and experience in order to be authentic.

I will start by sharing a few of my own strategies to deepen and enrich a sense of presence in life. Т I hope some of these techniques and ways of being will enrich your repertoire of mindfulness tools to use. Т For each, I will provide additional information from my own blog or other sources via the links.

A beautiful moment from an afternoon walk.

A “Beautiful Moment” from a late afternoon walk.

  • Beautiful Moments Practice: Т This is an on-going mindful gratitude practice in which I find and reflect upon the moments that bring joy and a sense of meaning to my daily life.
A "Why Not" moment when I took off my shoes and felt the dew on the grass before going to my classes for the day.

A “Why Not” moment when I took off my shoes and felt the dew on the grass before going to my classes for the day.

  • Why Not Practice: This is an on-going Т mindful play practice in which I take time to explore the ways in which I can actively engage in the simplicity of the world and all of the opportunities for joy it offers. Т Why not take off my shoes to walk through the grass? Т Dance in the rain instead of running from it? Т Stop and feel the bark of a tree, even hug a tree, as I go on my evening stroll? Т Just because we are adults, it shouldn’t inhibit us from being explorers of the world.
  • Heart Breathing: This is a new practice for me, so I haven’t posted on my blog about it yet, but I have been practicing it lately. Т It is a practice to use in times of stress to bring one back to the moment. Т When I was taught the practice, I was told to place both hands on top of one another over my heart, and each three breaths, switch the hand that is on the bottom to be on top.
Words in a window display captured from my photo walk.

Words in a window display captured from my photo walk.

  • Photo Walking: For mindful creativity, I have gone a couple of times now on photo walks by myself where I silently explore the world and take photos of things of interest to me. Т This is an “informal” mindful creativity practice, and a good way to see the world in new and creative ways, a main focus for developing mindful creativity.
IMG_2091

Self explanatory- I am touching a tree. You may feel weird engaging in this practice at first, but after awhile, you probably won’t care anymore.

 

  • Tree Touching (or just a walk outside): This would be considered an “informal” practice. Т However, in Japan extensively and more recently in the U.S., walking outdoors is a form of group and individual therapy. Т According toТ The University of Minnesota, “Research has shown that, irrespective of socio-economic background, age or gender, natural environments are perceived as an important link to a more stable world, one that assists in reforming chaotic thoughts and feelings into more harmonious forms.”

These are just some of the ways I practice mindfulness and presence in my life. Т As stated before, every night I make time to do a focused attention meditation for fifteen to twenty minutes. Т This is a time when I close my bedroom door, light a candle, shut off the lights and just sit with myself. Т At the end of the practice, I like to journal, reflecting on my beautiful moments or on what my practice was like that day. Т I also attend the local Buddhist temple for an hour-long sitting meditation each Sunday.

A moment captured at the end of my day before I shut off my light and sat on the floor to sink into the silence within.

A moment captured at the end of my day before I shut off my light and sat on the floor to sink into the silence within.

You do not have to do all (or any) of these things to be mindful. Т Remember, it is a state of being- not something to “do.” Т I do, hope, however, that you are finding ways to make the “being” of mindfulness part of your own life.

So, this post is also a call to action. Т 

You all are experts in your own experience, so I am going to ask that you share your expertise either in a comment to this post or in a post of your own:

Are you engaging in mindfulness practice formally or informally right now? Т If not, what are theТ challenges you are facing to doing so? Т If so, has it been fun, difficult, interesting, centering, boring? Т Are you becoming more mindful in your daily life? Т How has mindfulness impacted you in general?

-By Brandi Lust

1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: